Fluid Dynamics
Immigration Center at Stamford

Sept-Dec 2019, YSOA
Critic: Annie Barrett

Site: Stamford, CT 
Type : Institution, Civic, Culture
Size: 1,200 sf

Individual Academic Work

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The question ‘What is your cultural identity?’ is unanswerable.
--Homi K.Bhabha

        The project of the immigration center at Stamford starts with programmatic conceptualization: the relationship between the overall program and the site, between different types of programs, and between programs within the same type. I group the programs into three neighborhoods according to the events that happen in the space. The goal is to create spatial porosity and movement fluidity.
        I start with a conceptual diagram of programs and goes on testing (by 3d model) how multi-skins and nesting work to a partial extent. Then I try to compose all these parts on a grided site. The design iterates, simultaneously, on both the “whole” scale and the “part” scale.  To a global extent, the walkable plated roof links the parking lot with the garden street on the east-west axis. The programs are organized around courtyards to formulate a “neighborhood” of diverse characters: the learning center, the meeting center, and the art center.  At a local extent, the partial models experiment on the potential of double skins as a strategy to create a breathable boundary for each program.
        The structure coordinates with the neighborhood organizational strategy of the plan. The center of every neighborhood is enclosed by hollow tubes, serving as both courtyards where the public gathers and supports the top shell roof. Also, the hollow tubes allow sufficient daylight into the inner space, creating interior-exterior space. The boundary of each program comprises curtains, movable doors, and screens instead of static walls.